Reflections on the Foreward to Night
This is an anticipatory activity for Night. Students will have their interest in the Holocaust memoir Night by Elie Wiesel piqued as they read the foreward. Students will also learn what a foreward is and how it differs from a preface or introduction. They will reflect on how they have moments in their lives that are meaningful to them and begin to ponder what they might write a memoir about. The final assessment is a paragraph.
What is a foreward? Think, Pair, Share
Set a three minute timer. Have students try to answer the questions with what they know/speculate.
After three minutes, allow them to consult a dictionary or go online and search for answers.
In pairs, brainstorm what you know about forewards.
Here are the questions we need to answer before we delve into the text:
What does the root fore mean?
Class Discussion - Notes
Emphasize that Wiesel's foreward is written by him, and he is explaining his very special connection to his memoir. He was in concentration camps during the Holocaust. He is a survivor, and he feels it is his duty to stop another holocaust from occuring.
A foreword is a piece of writing that serves to introduce the reader to the author and the book, usually written by someone who is not the author or an editor of the book.
If the author does write the foreword, it might be to explain how the book came to be, or their connection between the work and themselves.
Night is a memoir, an autobiography written by a person about a topic for which the author has very special knowledge.
The foreword always goes at the very front of the book.
Close Reading of the Foreward
Read the foreward to the students. Pause after the excerpts on the power point and allow for discussion and brainstorming. Have students do mind maps or freewrite for 90 seconds after each of the three excerpts. Then ask volunteers to share.
As we read, you will be asked to especially ponder one excerpt of the foreward and respond to it in a paragraph. The excerpts and prompts are on the paragraph.
Some students may write very private or painful memories. Be sure to assure students anything they write is confidential. On the other hand, some students will really want to share what they wrote. Invite those students to share if they wish.
For tomorrow, turn in a paragraph with your response to one of the prompts over the excerpts.
6 supporting sentences